Kalabash is a UK based eco-luxury venture, bringing you high-quality Caribbean-inspired natural and organic bodycare and cold process handcrafted soap.
Kalabash products are made with natural ingredients that are kind to your skin and to our environment, whilst evoking a sense of calm and
Sharron Jenkins - Founder
I started Kalabash back in 2006 when after years of working in a London office, I re-discovered my childhood passion for plants, gardening and creativity.
So while on maternity leave, I enrolled a Royal Horticultural Society course in horticulture and an accredited Garden Design course. I studied for 2 years whilst getting my hands dirty in several North London gardens as a jobbing gardener. I then went on to set up a Garden Design business, specialising in plants and planting design.
SHARRON JENKINS -
FOUNDER KALABASH BODYCARE
As I worked outside year-round, I began to notice that the British weather and London pollution was playing havoc with my sensitive skin which was being stripped it of its natural moisture. Like you, I wanted nourishing natural plant-based beauty products that were kind to my skin and to the environment.
This was way before the green beauty revolution when very few natural skincare products were around. In those days many mainstream products were chemically laden, and sustainability, as well as the environmental impact of the beauty industry, were often overlooked...
So I put my extensive plant knowledge and experience to use, rolled up my sleeves and set about creating my own body care range. I trawled the internet for information, and after a lot of experimentation and months of research, I began making handmade soap, body butters balms and moisturisers infused with pure essential oils for friends and family who thankfully loved them.
Caribbean inspiration - Dominica
Kalabash pays homage to my Caribbean heritage. In the late 1950s, my Windrush parents left Dominica, the aptly named “Nature Island of the Caribbean” and settled in the UK, met, married and started a family.
I still have vivid memories of my only family holiday - my first trip to the “Nature Island” aged 9. This evocative and lush tropical island was where I first discovered a passion for tropical plants and gardening.
I'd never been outside London before this and was instantly transfixed by the sight, colours, smell and taste of fresh mangoes, bananas, cocoa, coconuts, oranges, limes and much more which hung ready to pick and eat from trees all over the island.
The memories of my parents’ Garden of Eden homeland, with its dense rainforests, looming mountains and tropical gardens, watered by 365 rivers and streams which crisscross the island made a lasting impression.
"According to Dominican folk law, the island's soil is so fertile that a walking stick would sprout leaves if you left it too long in the ground. "
Dominica captivated my imagination so much that I kept a daily journal complete with illustrations of this wonderful 6-week adventure. Back at school during “Show and Tell” I was awarded my first and only gold star from a teacher who didn’t give them out lightly. The 9-year-old me was delighted with my achievement!
ME & MUM SURROUNDED BY
BACK IN THE 70s
Dominica's lasting impression sparked the creation of Kalabash from its UK Headquarters, (my kitchen in Finchley, north London). After taking a soapmaking business course in 2006 I combined the warm tropical scents, exotic ingredient and fragrances I remembered from Dominica into natural handmade soap and body care treats.
Kalabash or Calabash Handmade as it was known then, was an instant hit with a growing international following. An extract from the original website's testimonial page reads:
"Your soap is so rich and gentle - it's like washing with a high-quality moisturiser!"
Sadly a divorce forced me, like many other women, to press the pause button, pack my dream safely away for another time and return to office life for a more stable income as a single mum.
The Kalabash re-launch
Fast forward to 2018 I've had a successful career in project management and business development, the children have grown up and guess what? I still garden and still love creating delicious natural body care products (especially cold process soap).
With my newfound independence, I've returned to the entrepreneurial game by re-launching Kalabash from its new headquarters, a quaint thatched cottage in a rural village in Bedfordshire.
The entire range has been resurrected, revamped and refined just for you.
Making things legal
Every Kalabash formula has been assessed for safety by a qualified Cosmetic Scientist who has passed by them as being compliant with the European Cosmetic Regulations.
My mission is to create natural vegan-friendly and organic tropical treats in small batches to ensure freshness and quality to enhance your wellness and selfcare routines.
Kalabash aspires not only to help you get great healthy skin but also to evoke momentary soothing Caribbean escapism from the stresses of work and daily life, so you feel energised, empowered and ready for whatever life throws at you.
To follow the Kalabash journey step by step and to keep up to date with news and offers, please sign up for the Kalabash newsletter below.